Team

EKARI’s work is driven on the ground by our Malawi team who develop and operate our programs. Our Malawi field office is staffed by Malawi nationals.

EKARI’s U.S. office based in Seattle, Washington, USA focuses on fundraising and donor outreach as well as supports program development. We have an active Board of Directors in the U.S. and Malawi, who offer unmatched advisement, dedicate their time to raise money, and volunteer for our programs on the ground.

EKARI Staff

ELIAS MAKINA, Co-Founder, Malawi In-Country Director

Elias was born and raised in rural Malawi and knows first hand the challenges students face to receive an education because he faced the same challenges himself. Elias is Joseph EKARI Makina’s brother. Elias holds a certificate in Hospital Maintenance Management from Mombasa Polytechnic in Kenya and a diploma in Business Management from the University of Malawi Chancellor College. He oversees general operations in Malawi. He works closely with EKARI’s entire team to develop programs, provide program oversight, and manages relationships with all beneficiaries.

MICHELLE BRADLEY, Co-Founder, Executive Director

After being deeply affected by Malawi’s people during a visit in 2007, Michelle resigned from her 10 year architecture career in 2010 to pursue her true passion for community development. In 2012, she received her Master’s Degree in International Community Development from Northwest University in Washington. Michelle lived in Malawi to better understand the needs of EKARI’s beneficiaries. She travels to Malawi annually to lead programmatic monitoring and evaluation; works hand-in-hand with EKARI’s field staff to support program development; and is a critical lead for donor outreach in the U.S.

MABLE PHIRI, Adult Literacy Coordinator

Mable holds a diploma in Horticulture from Malawi’s Natural Resources College. She operates EKARI’s Adult Literacy Program. Her amazing people skills allow her to connect with adult learners in a way that makes them excited about receiving an education even at an older age. Based on her background in horticulture, Mable also supports our agriculture program. Moreover, she also serves as a mentor to EKARI students. She joined EKARI in 2015.

JACQUELINE CHULU, Entrepreneurship Coordinator

Jacqueline has a degree in Agricultural Education from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and field experience working with small business groups. Jacqueline operates EKARI’s entrepreneurship training programs by supporting new and existing entrepreneurs as they develop and grow. She will use her expertise and passion to help EKARI’s beneficiaries become more independent and confident in their entrepreneurship abilities. She also supports our agriculture program and serves as a mentor to EKARI students. She joined EKARI in July 2017.

JACQUELINE CENTIE, Agriculture Coordinator

Jacqueline is a Crop and Soil Scientist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and field experience working with farmers to improve and manage their crops and soils. Her duties include training, monitoring, and counseling farmers in agricultural best practices as well as managing victory gardens. She will use her expertise and passion to help our beneficiaries achieve bumper yields and zero hunger. She also serves as a mentor to EKARI students. She joined EKARI in March 2018.

Harry Yohane
HARRY YOHANE, Youth Coordinator

Harry obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Malawi’s Mzuzu University in 2007. He worked as a high school teacher for the Ministry of Education for seven years and acted as a high school principal for four years. With his vast experience in education, he is passionate about being interactive with youth to understand their needs. He is also compassionate toward the challenges that youth in Malawi face. Harry oversees EKARI’s Student Tuition Program, Student Support Programs, and manages relationships with EKARI students. He joined EKARI in August 2018.

Adriane Berman
ADRIANE BERMAN, Development and Communications Manager

Adriane brings more than 15 years of experience in the development, implementation, and management of global health programs to EKARI. Most recently at PATH, she managed the proposal process including leading the development of grants with a variety of donors. She has spent many years working in Africa and is excited to be working for an organization addressing the needs of communities in Malawi. Adriane believes in the power of education and the importance it plays in helping lift people out of poverty. She has a Masters in Public Health from the University of Washington and a BA in International Studies from American University.

Malawi Student Board of Directors & Appointees
Chair: Promise; Vice Chair: Linley; Advisors: Stella, Aubrey M, Blessings, Chisomo, Dorothy, Michael, Timothy, Getrude, Dyson, Cathreen, Iness, Raphael, Christopher, Memory

EKARI’s Student Board of Directors represents the ‘voice’ of our students. The Board is responsible for providing student feedback to our Malawi Board of Directors, assisting with program development, and encouraging all students to take advantage of their education. They also support our students’ emotional needs by advising our students regarding family and personal issues and by performing conflict resolution activities. In support of our Student Board of Directors, we created student appointments to further promote leadership skills among our students! Each of our Complementary Student Programs has a student leader who assists our In-Country Director with minor tasks.

Malawi Board of Directors
White Yohane
WHITE YOHANE, Malawi Board President

Mr. Yohane is the Principal at Mpasa Secondary School where several of EKARI’s students attend. He holds a Diploma in Education from Domasi College of Education in Malawi. Mr. Yohane previously taught at Phalombe Secondary School where he taught sciences and was also the boarding master. His interest has always been in youth education and he enjoys giving advice to students and parents. He brings this interest to EKARI foundation when he participates in student/parent meetings in order to encourage our students and their families to focus on education and to utilize their chance with EKARI Foundation.

Jeniffer Kapichi (2)
JENNIFER KAPICHI, Malawi Board Vice President

Mrs. Kapichi has practiced nursing and midwifery since 2000 and anesthesiology since 2004. She currently works at Holy Family Hospital in the Phalombe District. She holds a diploma in Clinical Anesthesia and Intensive Medicine from the Malawi College of Health Sciences. Mrs. Kapichi brings her training and knowledge within the medical field to EKARI’s Health Education & HIV/AIDS Awareness Program as well as her awareness of rural Malawian life to all of our programs.

HARTLEY KALUA, Malawi Board Secretary

Mr. Kalua is the deputy principal at Phalombe Secondary School where several of EKARI Foundation students attend. He holds a Bachelor Degree of Arts and a post graduate certificate in education with a distinction from the University of Malawi. He is currently studying for his Masters in Education. He would love to see many orphans and vulnerable children benefit from EKARI so that the children will excel academically to a high level. For three years, Mr. Kalua previously held the responsibility of senior grade teacher and section head at Phalombe Secondary School.

Mervis Makanani
MERVIS MAKANANI, Malawi Board Treasurer

Mrs. Makanani has 10 years experience working with the government of Malawi. She currently works with the Phalombe district’s Ministry of Health as an assistant accountant and previously worked for Phalombe’s Ministry of Education for six years. She will also be an asset to EKARI Foundation in building our long-term relationship with the local government and as well will provide assistance with our accounting best practices.

AONENJI SELEMANI, Malawi Board Director & Student Liaison

Aonenji is EKARI Foundation’s first success story. EKARI Foundation supported Aonenji through his senior year of high school and through teacher training college. Aonenji is now a primary school teacher and is studying in order to become a secondary school teacher. He enjoys encouraging his fellow students and occasionally assists with EKARI Foundation’s tutoring program in which he tutors our secondary school junior class students especially in Mathematics which has always been his favorite subject. In his spare time, Aonenji also teaches adult learners in the Phalombe area how to read and write.

FEBBIE MANYUNGWA, Malawi Board Director

Mrs. Manyungwa is the mother to one of EKARI’s students. Febbie meets with our female students during school breaks to discuss issues regarding HIV/AIDS, gender roles/stigmas, sex & pregnancy, and health. She has been involved in her community with regard to adult literacy and assisted EKARI Foundation in the development of our adult literacy program.

Robert Chifupa
ROBERT CHIFUPA, Malawi Board Director

Before joining World Vision in 2005 as the Development Facilitator for Education Projects, Mr. Chifupa worked as a high school teacher for three years. He holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Education. Mr. Chifupa works in World Vision’s Phalombe office and is pleased to partner with EKARI Foundation as one of our board members.

U.S. Board of Directors
Sally Heilstedt, U.S. Board Chair & Governance Director

Sally graduated from Northwest University with a BA in Psychology and a MA in Global Community Development. She is deeply passionate about education and the transformative role it plays in people’s lives. Currently, she serves as the Coordinator for Assessment and Development at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Prior to working in that role, she provided academic support services to first-generation college and low-income students through the federal TRiO program. Currently, she volunteers as a tutor. EKARI holds a special place in Sally’s heart because it provides students the opportunity to receive an education.

Francois Burianek, U.S. Board Secretary

Francois is honored to serve an organization that is making a broad impact in fundamental ways. Born and raised in South Africa, he later moved to the U. S. At the University of Florida, Francois received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. He now works at Microsoft and is blessed to work for a company that is generous and encourages philanthropy. He is passionate about both giving back to communities and making a difference with the largest return on investment. As a father, he is motivated to provide a bright future for both his and other children who may not have the means but do not lack for willingness.

Ekari Staff, Kim Nguyen
Kim Nguyen, U.S. Board Treasurer

Kim Nguyen is on a mission to bring out the best in people. With nearly 10 years of experience in organizational management, program management, partnership building, and education, Kim enjoys engaging people to achieve a common goal. Currently Kim is the Managing Director for Washington State Public Health Association where she manages communications, operations, programs, finances, and supports the development of its strategic direction. She has an MPH from the University of Washington. Outside of work, Kim enjoys cooking from scratch, playing outside and traveling the world.

Andrea Steele, U.S. Board Fundraising Advisor

Andrea brings over 13 years of nonprofit experience in program management and fundraising. Currently the Database and Operations manager for The Bush School’s Development Department, Andrea has previously led fundraising initiatives at PAWS, the Center for Infectious Disease, Seattle Pacific University, and Compass Housing Alliance. Prior to her work in development, Andrea administered the domestic violence programs for the Salvation Army based in downtown Seattle. She is a champion of social justice causes. She holds a BA in History from Seattle Pacific University and an Executive MA in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Joyce Mphande-Finn, U.S. Board Director

Joyce is an Associate Professor and core faculty member in the Master of Arts in Counseling Program at City University of Seattle. Joyce has more than 15 years of counseling experience. She specializes in women and family counseling with domestic violence issues, cross-cultural issues, trauma, depression, and HIV/AIDS. Joyce has worked as a Language and Cultural trainer for the Peace Corps and a Coordinator for the Japanese and Volunteer Organizations in Malawi. In her volunteer work through the World Health Organization, Joyce was involved in the early education of HIV/AIDS and adult literacy classes in rural areas in Malawi.